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Turkey-bound girl 'had close shave'

Published 22/04/2015

A teenage girl's parents raised the alarm after she went missing and she was removed from a plane heading for Turkey, a court heard
A teenage girl's parents raised the alarm after she went missing and she was removed from a plane heading for Turkey, a court heard

A teenage girl removed from a plane bound for Turkey after being "radicalised" has learned a lesson, a family court has been told.

The youngster - picked up late last year after the plane's departure was delayed by police - had "expressed great remorse" and was embarrassed, a judge heard.

Mr Justice Hayden said the teenager had a "really close shave".

The judge was told that the girl's parents had raised the alarm after she went missing and another teenager revealed detail of her plans.

Lawyers said she had become distressed after reading about conflicts in Gaza and Syria and feeling that press coverage about Muslims was prejudiced.

Police found "extremist material" on her computer - including a document headed "44 ways to support jihad".

Detail emerged today at a hearing in the Family Division of the High Court in London where issues relating to a number of teenagers thought to be at risk of travelling to areas controlled by Islamic State were being analysed.

He said nothing could be reported which might lead to the girl being identified, including her age.

The girl is one of a number of teenagers thought to be at risk of travelling to areas controlled by IS who have been grounded by Mr Justice Hayden in recent weeks.

Social services bosses and police have raised concerns.

And the judge has made several youngsters wards of court - a move which bars them from travelling abroad without a judge's permission.

He has ruled that none can be identified.

Teenagers who have been made wards of court include four girls from London who attend the same school - Bethnal Green Academy in Bethnal Green, east London - as three girls already thought to have fled to join IS.

Police raised concerns in February following the disappearance of Kadiza Sultana, 16, Shamima Begum, 15, and Amira Abase, 15, from their east London homes.

Evidence about the girl found on a plane was revealed at the latest in a series of hearings.

Two barristers - Tina Cook QC, who was representing a local authority with responsibility for the youngster's care, and Deirdre Fottrell QC, who was representing the teenager's parents - gave the judge details of what had happened.

Miss Cook said the girl had been found on a plane heading to Istanbul.

"The plane was sitting on the runway and she was taken off the plane by the police," said Miss Cook.

"She was sitting on the tarmac and police delayed it for half an hour."

Miss Cook added: "She has expressed great remorse and embarrassment about having done it."

She said there had been "great panic" when she disappeared and her parents noticed that her passport was missing.

Another child had been "prevailed upon" and the girl was traced.

Police had found "Muslim extremist" material on her computer.

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